The massive spike in eCommerce: How test automation can help you avoid a catastrophic success


Monique Swanepoel


Content Specialist


Retail eCommerce sales worldwide have skyrocketed, both in domestic markets and globally across geopolitical borders. A look at some recent industry statistics quickly reveals that the demand for products and services sold online is spiking worldwide. In fact, it’s spiking to the point that the global eCommerce market is expected to reach nearly $4.9 trillion (yes, TRILLION) in 2021. Amazingly, the trend of eCommerce growth can be seen in every corner of the world from Latin America up to North America, across to Asia, down to Africa, and just about everywhere else. 


If that doesn’t convince you, perhaps some more astounding statistics will - did you know that Shopify has contributed to $319 billion in global economic activity

So, what does this have to do with Virtuoso and test automation? Let’s dive in! 

The world of ecommerce

eCommerce platforms are online websites that can be accessed from a device with an active internet connection. eCommerce refers to the commercial transactions that take place on these platforms as people buy or sell products and/or services or transmit funds or data over the internet. The transactions can occur between individuals (consumer-to-consumer), between businesses (B2B) or from business to consumer (B2C) and vice versa (C2B). It’s a lot to take in - here are a few examples of the prominent types of eCommerce today:

  • B2B: Online transactions including manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, etc. Examples are Shopify, Woocommerce, and Squarespace. 
  • B2C: Companies sell goods and/or services directly to consumers. An example is Amazon. 
  • C2C: Consumers are in direct contact with each other and sell personal goods and assets directly to another individual. Examples are eBay and OLX.

When you start to think about it, it’s easy to see that eCommerce is a part of everyday life. And within just one website, there are hundreds of actions that a user can carry out - select a product, see more details, view images, read reviews, search for items, register accounts, log into an existing account, contact support, look for more information, place items in a bag, buy products, purchase services or vouchers, request a refund… In today’s fast-paced technological world, both businesses and consumers expect all of these processes to work seamlessly. After all, no one wants to get stuck during the payment process or deal with lagging images, broken links, and whatever other buggy nightmare that chases consumers away from your website and into the welcoming virtual arms of a superior-performing website.

The challenges

We know two things for certain:

  1. eCommerce domains are in high demand.
  2. eCommerce domains have a lot to deal with.

At Virtuoso, we come into contact with numerous eCommerce organizations and we can tell you that one of the biggest challenges in the industry is expanding the capacity to deliver. Whether expanding the functionality of an existing site or creating new domains to grow an online presence, eCommerce services struggle to scale the testing for their websites. 

Here are just some of the run-on effects to quality assurance that organizations see when they aren’t able to scale their testing:

  • Limited test coverage with testing focused on only the highest priority scenarios
  • Quality assurance is reduced and user experiences become unsatisfactory
  • Manual testers have limited capacity and are unable to cover a growing number of test cases
  • Organizations have limited resources - they don’t have enough resources to devote to testing, or need to bring in expensive external resources
  • Lead times get longer and releases are delayed
  • Customer satisfaction decreases while customer attrition (churn) increases

The answer is always automation

Okay, the answer isn’t always automation - but this time and especially for eCommerce actors, it definitely is! The challenges faced by eCommerce platforms are absolutely manageable with Virtuoso. Here’s how:

Challenge: Limited test coverage

Solution: Virtuoso scales testing in the cloud. Test everything from dynamic applications to cross-browser compatibility. Virtuoso’s bots autonomously test your website with rules to validate fonts, images, links, and branding, while visual regression allows users to pick up on any unintended changes.

Challenge: Quality assurance is reduced

Solution: Virtuoso’s testing capabilities cover everything: advanced features, iframes, front- and back-end web applications, load performance testing, data-driven testing, and much more. That means you can rest easy knowing that all of your processes from creating products and managing orders straight through to purchasing workflows have been thoroughly tested for quality. Virtuoso asserts results (e.g. that a product price is correct), stores dynamic data (for example, customer Order ID), and enables quality-first brand assurance.

Challenge: Manual testers have limited capacity

Solution: Build Virtuoso tests from requirements and wireframes, and integrate with your existing tech stack and CI/CD tools. Paired with Virtuoso’s Natural Language Programming feature that enables authoring tests in plain English, this means that anyone - including manual testers, business analysts, product managers, and other non-technical staff - can help author, execute, maintain, and report on testing. Testers will have more time on their hands and other staff can join the testing efforts, too.

Challenge: Organizations have limited resources

Solution: Virtuoso leverages AI to self-heal tests, and it’s easy to fix a step or modify scripts. There is no ramp-up time, no installs, and no need to upskill staff, which means that your existing testing team can maintain a large suite of test cases without overhead or acquiring additional technical assistance.

Challenge: Long lead times and delayed releases

Solution: Test hundreds of cases in parallel in the cloud by using Virtuoso’s robotic test automation capability. Tests can be run on multiple environments and with each release of code, no matter how regularly you deploy. That means no more testing bottlenecks - and each execution is stored as its own report, while the same tests can be used as templates to run against separate sites.

Challenge: High customer churn rates

Solution: Customers don’t like sites with problems, and who can blame them? That’s why Virtuoso puts quality first to help you build better products faster. Now that’s a good way to keep everyone happy!

Does it really work?

Virtuoso has been validated by eCommerce organizations who were manually testing their web applications:

  • For test authoring, Virtuoso is 84% faster than using a code-based framework
  • For test execution, Virtuoso is up to 98% faster than manual testers. In the time that one manual tester runs one test, Virtuoso can run over 100 regression or data-driven scenarios in parallel.
  • For maintenance, Virtuoso’s self-healing capabilities reduce maintenance of automated tests by 96% compared to other code-based automation platforms.
  • For reporting, Virtuoso provides instant valuable feedback that is actionable and puts quality first.

We love show and tell. We’ve told you what we know - and now it’s time to show you that it works! Whether you are running a Woocommerce, Squarespace, Shopify, or other B2C site, Virtuoso is here to help you achieve quality-first software. Ready to book a demo?


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